MSW Course Descriptions
SOWK 500. ADVANCED STANDING SEMINAR
This course is a one day seminar that reviews the courses and course material offered in Direct Service and APO courses, Human Behavior and The Social Environment, Social Welfare Policy and Services and Field Practicum as identified by the instructor. Attendance is required for all students admitted to the regular MSW Program and attendance is required for all students admitted to Advanced Standing.
SOWK 501. SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY AND SERVICES (SWPS) I: SOCIAL SERVICES POLICY
This course provides an historical overview of the development of social welfare institutions and the social work profession. It surveys social policies and programs in the areas of income maintenance, child welfare, health, mental health and services to the aged. Historical and contemporary social, economic, and political forces that have shaped policy development are reviewed. Students are expected to acquire policy practice skills that emphasize social activism and which are directed toward undoing oppression and inequality.
SOWK 502. SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY AND SERVICES (SWPS) II: PERSPECTIVES ON POVERTY
This course in social policy analysis and political intervention are viewed as practice methods that impact the formation, development and implementation of social policy. Social justice and economic justice are continuing themes throughout the course. Social work values are stressed within the themes of advocacy, empowerment and transformation. Poverty is viewed as a cross-cutting context for all social policies. The underlying premise for the course is to prepare effective social work practitioners that are committed to bringing about change in structures of poverty, oppression and discrimination. (Prerequisite: SOWK 501 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 510. SPECIAL TOPICS
Topics vary semester to semester depending on student interest.
SOWK 601. HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT (HBSE) I
This course examines the basic concepts and theories that explain the development of personality and social behavior within a social system framework. Attention is given to the impact of biological, psychological, and cultural factors on individuals, small groups, and the family. The impact of organizational dynamics on small groups and populations with special needs is discussed.
SOWK 602. HUMAN BEHAVIOR IN THE SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT (HBSE) II
This course is designed as the second of two foundation courses, providing student with core knowledge of theory pertaining to broad social units (i.e., the work place, organizations, institutions, ideologies, the world views, etc.). The course utilizes a system framework and emphasizes the themes of advocacy, empowerment and transformation in exploring various theoretical orientations to the study of human behavior in organizations, communities and society. (Prerequisite: SOWK 601 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 603. APO I: SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH ORGANIZATIONS AND COMMUNITIES
This course provides an introduction to practice models, methods, roles, functions, and central values of social work with organizations and communities. A problem-solving framework and procedure are developed and applied to different practice roles and positions. Students are expected to achieve beginning level mastery of selected tasks and skills.
SOWK 604. DIRECT SERVICE I: SOCIAL WORK INTERVENTION WITH INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
This course focuses on the development of a foundation for social work practice; the values, core social work skills, and common knowledge base generic to practice phases of the problem-solving process with individuals and families. Intervention strategies with individuals and small systems are introduced. This course is required for all MSW students.
SOWK 605. SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH I
This course examines scientific methods for evaluating client system problems, social work practice methods and interventions, and service delivery. Special emphasis is placed on designs (e.g., single system) and qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting and analyzing data to build knowledge for practice.
SOWK 606C. FIELD PRACTICUM I
Field instruction is a directed educational experience in social work practice with instruction offered by agency and campus-based faculty members. Offered concurrently with classroom instruction, the field courses provide for integration of classroom learning with practice experience. The practicum has a generalist focus and is taken on an average of two days per week during the first year. Field instruction must be taken in the student’s concentration for three days per week during the second year. (This course is for full-time MSW students.)
SOWK 6060. FIELD PRACTICUM SEMINAR I
Offered concurrently with Field Practicum I, the field courses provide for integration of classroom learning with practice experience. The seminar has a generalist focus and is taken on an average of one day per week during the first year.
SOWK 607D. FIELD PRACTICUM II
(Refer to SOWK 606C for course description.) (Prerequisite: SOWK 606C)
SOWK 6070. FIELD PRACTICUM SEMINAR II
Offered concurrently with Field Practicum II, the field courses provide for integration of classroom learning with practice experience. The seminar has a generalist focus and is taken on an average of one day per week during the first year.
SOWK 610. DIRECT SERVICE II: SOCIAL WORK INTERVENTION WITH INDIVIDUALS,FAMILIES, AND SMALL GROUPS
This course is a continuation of Direct Service I. (Prerequisite: SOWK 604 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 620. APO II: SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH COMMUNITY SYSTEMS
This course is designed to provide the advanced social work student with an in depth knowledge of strategies, tactics, techniques, worker roles, and models regarding social work practice with communities. The course has strong emphasis and focus on the acquisition of skills for social work practice with community systems. (Prerequisite: SOWK 603 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 700. SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH II: PROJECT DEVELOPMENT SEMINAR
This course is designed to assist the student in formulating and planning a research project to be carried out in conjunction with his/her field work in the second year. (Prerequisite: SOWK 605 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 701. SOCIAL WORK RESEARCH III
In this course the student executes, under faculty supervision, the plan developed in Research II and produces a major research paper. (Prerequisite: SOWK 700)
SOWK 702E. FIELD PRACTICUM III
(Refer to SOWK 606C for course description.) (Prerequisite: SOWK 607 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 703F. FIELD PRACTICUM IV
The practicum must be taken in the student’s concentration two days a week in the fall semester and increases to three days a week in the spring. (Prerequisite: SOWK 702)
SOWK 7030. FIELD SEMINAR IV
Offered concurrently with Field Practicum IV, the field courses provide for integration of classroom learning with practice experience. The seminar has a generalist focus and is taken on an average of one day per week during the first year.
SOWK 710. ADVANCED PRACTICE WITH FAMILIES
Advanced practice with families is a continuation of the building process begun during the generic first year of the MSW program. The generic first year direct service curriculum exposes students to a generalized knowledge base of practice with individuals, families and groups. This course addresses itself specifically to a number of theoretical perspectives, models of practice, and intervention strategies with families which are applicable to all fields of practice. The models of practice and intervention strategies are supportive of the systems framework with an ecological perspective and focus on an understanding of families from a strengths perspective. The School’s themes of empowerment, advocacy, and transformation are addressed throughout the course with an emphasis on the unique concerns of practice with oppressed and disenfranchised participants. Graduate students selecting Direct Service as their practice modality are required to take this course. (Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 711. ADVANCED SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE WITH GROUPS
This course is designed to draw upon the generic knowledge and skills common to practice with individuals, families, small groups, communities and organization. Group work with individuals, families, communities and organizations are considered from a systemic, ecological and problem-solving perspective. The emphasis focuses upon the unit of attention as well as considering the improving environment. (Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 712. ADVANCED DIRECT PRACTICE
This course examines the assessment of mental disorders using the DSM-IV TR as a guide. The course provides an in-depth exploration of the major mental disorders as well as the current thinking on effective treatment modalities in each diagnostic category. The DSM-IV TR is utilized as a tool to prepare students for practice with client systems affected by mental health issues. Students are expected to recognize the manifestations of mental illness via the use of the DSM-IV TR and critique this model from a strengths perspective. The course examines ethical issues related to diagnosis, assessment, and intervention. The process of diagnosing participants is examined from a social justice perspective, exploring the cultural and lifestyle issues which may negatively impact accurate and appropriate diagnostic labeling. This course should not be taken by H/MH concentration students. (Prerequisite: SOWK 710 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 720. APO III: ORGANIZATIONAL ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT
This course examines the functioning of human service organizations and the central tasks of the administrator/manager. Strategies and techniques for improving and maintaining efficiency and effectiveness are considered in relation to the acquisition, development, and utilization of personnel and other resources. Acquisition of skills in areas such as data analysis, planning, decision-making, and evaluation is emphasized. (Prerequisite: SOWK 620 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 721. SUPERVISION IN SOCIAL WORK
This course examines strategies and techniques in administrative, educational, and supportive supervision. Issues related to leadership, setting objectives, managing time and other resources, and monitoring performance are considered. Both interactive and analytic skills are emphasized.
SOWK 722. INTERVENTION IN POLITICAL AND GOVERNMENTAL PROCESSES
This course examines issues and methods related to effective participation in electoral processes and lobbying activities. Extensive use is made of guest speakers, including elected officials and selected experts. Teaching techniques include experimental exercises and examination of case studies.
SOWK 723. SOCIAL PROGRAM EVALUATION
This course covers the models, elements and techniques of social program evaluation with particular emphasis on outcome evaluation. This macro emphasis course is intended for any second year graduate student who has completed the first year curriculum. It is intended to help students acquire the necessary skills to design and carry out outcome based evaluations of social programs. Emphasis is placed on skills and techniques to foster empowerment of all stakeholders in the evaluation process.
SOWK 724. ADVANCED APO PRACTICE
An administration, planning, and organization of special topics course with topics which vary from semester to semester depending on student interest. This course will allow the opportunity to present content which is relevant to student interest and need related to practice with macro systems. It will also allow the department to design course material which is responsive to the changes in the community which directly impacts services to larger systems. (Prerequisites: SOWK 710, SOWK 720, or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 730. INDEPENDENT STUDY
(Prerequisite: Consent of MSW Program Director)
SOWK 731. PRACTICE ISSUES: CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES
This course examines the historical and contemporary social, economic, and political forces that have shaped policies and services that impact individuals within the family as an institution. Students are expected to analyze and evaluate policies and programs based on topical areas of interests. Students are also expected to be prepared as social advocates, lobbyists, and expert advisors to policy makers and administrators with an understanding and appreciation of political processes furthering the achievement of social work goals and purposes. (Prerequisite: SOWK 610 and 620 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 732. PRACTICE ISSUES IN HEALTH AND MENTAL HEALTH
This course examines the economic, political, and environmental issues that are pertinent to health and mental health. Also, issues in the planning, organizing, financing, administration, and delivery of health and mental health services are examined. The course content is analyzed from a historical and organizational perspective. Examples of course topics include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s), the inequities of health care to minority populations, the community mental health model, and de-institutionalization. (Prerequisite: SOWK 610 and 620 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 733. PRACTICE ISSUES IN AGING PROGRAM
This course examines the practice issues relevant to working with and on behalf of the elderly. The needs of the aged, and exploration of their needs, problems and means by which needs can be met are discussed. The structure of operations within national, state, and local aging networks are examined along with specific topics related to program development and planning, advocacy, volunteerism. The course provides content on direct services at different crisis states such as widowhood, retirement, and institutionalization. (Prerequisite: SOWK 610 and 620 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 734. EMPOWERMENT BASED SOCIAL WORK AND HEALTH/MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Supporting elective for students in health/mental health concentration, focusing on the social worker and the social work client in health and mental health settings. (Prerequisite: SOWK 732 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 735. EMPOWERMENT BASED SOCIAL WORK WITH CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES I
This course provides the student with an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of intervention models for working with children. Strategies and techniques to operationalize models of prevention, assessment and intervention will be explored in detail. Special emphasis will be given to devalued populations, early intervention, children of poverty and abused children. This course will encompass assessment and interventive strategies applicable to both direct service and APO students. (Prerequisite: SOWK 610 and 620 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 736. EMPOWERMENT BASED SOCIAL WORK IN GERONTOLOGY
This is an advanced practice course which builds upon DS I, DS II, APO I, and APO II. It is a required course for students in Gerontology. The content includes several social work practice modalities in working with and on behalf of the elderly, those who have acute problems, those who are functionally impaired, and with families of the elderly. The role of the social worker in intervening within the different client systems is examined with attention on advocacy, empowerment and transformation. (Prerequisite: SOWK 610 and 620 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 737. EMPOWERMENT BASED CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES II
This is a second advance practice course in the Children, Youth and Families concentration. This course utilizes several models of assessment and intervention working with and on behalf of more complex child, child welfare and family issues with strong emphasis on strengthening families and creating opportunities for healthy development of children. Special emphasis will be on providing preventive and direct services to children as well as the community level strategies to intervene in different crisis states such as substance disordered families, child placement decisions, coping with loss, or being victims and witnesses to violence. (Prerequisite: SOWK 731 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 740. HUMAN SEXUALITY
This course examines, in historical context, the myths, misinformation, and taboos that have influenced present views on sexual behaviors. The broad range of sexual behaviors are reviewed as well as selected aspects of individuals and social problems such as rape, abortion, sexual abuse of children, sexual function and dysfunction. This course is structured to convey knowledge and dispel myths within a biological, social, cultural, and psychological framework.
SOWK 741. CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENT SERVICES
This is a School of Social Work elective. The course provides the student with an in depth theoretical and practical understanding of intervention models for working with children. Well-being and strengths-based models of assessment and intervention are explored. Special emphasis will be given to devalued populations, children of poverty and abused children. The course builds on the knowledge and skills acquired in Direct Service I and II and HBSE I and II. The concepts of empowerment practice and the ecological perspective will play essential roles in the selection and execution of preventive and direct service to children within a family, cultural, and community context.
SOWK 742. FAMILY AND CHILD
This course focuses on the relationship between the family, the child, and other systems that impact upon the well-being of individuals within the society. Emphasis is placed on the interaction between the child and the family, church, school and peer groups.
SOWK 743. THE OLDER WOMAN
This course examines problems and resources of the middle aged and older women in a changing society. The negative images surrounding older women in our culture are examined with focus on dispelling the myths and emphasizing the power of older women. Policy and program alternatives to improve their lives are explored.
SOWK 744. DEATH, DYING, AND GRIEF
This course provides an introduction and survey of the current issues, concepts, and research of the psychological aspects of death, the stages of dying and the grieving processes. The needs of the dying, the families of the dying, and the role of the caring relationship of the social worker are examined.
SOWK 745. FAMILY VIOLENCE
This course is designed to examine and suggest strategies for social work intervention with violent families, including those involving child abuse and neglect, spouse abuse, the abuse of the elderly. The focus is on current research related to societal, interpersonal, and individual factors associated with family violence and emphasizes socio-cultural variations in patterns based upon lifestyle, social class, and racial/ethnic factors. The problem is viewed from the dual perspectives of societal concern and interventions, including policies and programs designed to work with individual families. (Prerequisite: Admission to the Graduate Program.)
SOWK 750. EMPOWERMENT BASED PRACTICE IN MENTAL HEALTH
This course provides an in depth examination of mental health policies and programs as well as practice perspectives and modalities in the area of mental health care. The empowerment theme is utilized throughout the course as filter through which concepts, controversial issues, and current policies are viewed and analyzed. This course replaces SOWK 712 or SOWK 724. (Prerequisite: SOWK 732 or Consent of Instructor)
SOWK 751. PERSPECTIVES IN CHEMICAL DEPENDENCY
Issues, trends, and theories regarding courses, personal and societal effects, and various modalities employed in providing human services to chemically dependent client systems. The course examines the economical, political, psycho-social, cultural and physiological aspects of this extremely complex personal, family, and societal problem. The course also includes field experiences and guest speakers including client systems, direct service, providers, program administrators, and other change agents in the Chemical Dependency field.
SOWK 752. MOBILIZING AGAINST AIDS
This course examines policy implications and intervention efforts in confronting the psychological challenge of AIDS on various communities.
SOWK 753. SOCIAL WORK AND PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY
This course examines the role of social workers in the psychopharmacological interventions for persons experiencing severe mental illness. It examines the interdisciplinary, collaborative roles of professional social work practice emphasizing empowering individuals and their families making complex mental health intervention choices.